A Legacy of Excellence
hall of fame
Join Us Thursday October 13, 2022
Robert B. Wentz Theater at NHHS
6:30pm Meet-and-Greet (under the tower)
7:30pm Ceremony (inside the theater)
"Hall of Fame honorees in the NHHS Library in October 2019."
You’re invited to join your Sailor family to celebrate the best of our alma mater in a special induction ceremony for our 6th Hall of Fame Class on Thursday October 13, 2022. Join us under the tower at 6:30pm for a meet-and-great with our honorees and their families, and then take your seat in the NHHS theater at 7:30pm to officially welcome them into our Hall of Fame. This event is FREE and open to the public.
We are excited to announce the eight new members of our Hall of Fame. Each of them has excelled in their chosen field and given back to their community. Read full Bios HERE
The Alumni inductees include:
John Altobelli Class of 1981, outstanding baseball coach
Paul Le Mat Class of 1963, Golden Globe winning actor
Debbe Pyle Magnusen Class of 1974, advocate for children
Raun Thorp Class of 1977, creative architect
David Ullman Class of 1964, champion sailor
Dr. John Vierling Class of 1963, groundbreaking liver doctor
The honored Faculty are:
Bill Burge, Biology & Marine Science teacher
Joe Robinson, Humanities teacher in 7 decades
Our Hall of Fame tradition began in June 2014, when the Newport Harbor High School Alumni Association inducted our first Class of Alumni and Faculty. We have recognized award-winning athletes, brave military personnel, ground-breaking scientists, public servants, artists, writers and actors, as well as beloved teachers, coaches, and administrators—all individuals who reflect our alma mater’s most cherished values of good citizenship and service to others.
Take a look at our past honorees for inspiration, and then let us know who you think should be included next time. We are always accepting nominations, so help us find excellent Alumni and Faculty. If you’ve nominated someone in the past, they are still on our list and continue to be under consideration.
1) Read below to see who has already been honored
2) Read the nomination form and gather ALL the information needed
3) Fill in the form and submit (self-nominations are not accepted)
Celebrating our 5th Class
On the evening of Thursday October 3, 2019, we were excited to recognize the eight new members of our Hall of Fame who have all excelled in their chosen fields and given back to their communities. The list included chart-topping songwriters, record-setting athletes, award-winning architects, local leaders, inventors, as well as educators and philanthropists.
We were joined by 300 guests to celebrate the new Hall of Fame members as part of the Homecoming Week festivities. The honorees gathered in front of in the Robert B. Wentz Theater at 6:30pm to kick off a meet-and-greet hour
with the Sailor community. The ceremony commenced at 7:30pm with Bob Rogers (Class of 1968 and previous Hall of Fame honoree) serving as MC. Four other past honorees (Marshall “Duffy” Duffield, Dennis O’Hern, James “Walkie” Ray, and Justice David Thompson) introduced our new Hall of Fame class.
Each of our “great eight” who spoke offered wisdom about how to approach life with thoughtfulness and enthusiasm.
The six Alumni inductees include:
The Honorable Selim S. Franklin, Class of 1947, devoted community leader
Bruce Penhall, Class of 1975, charismatic champion
Rolly Pulaski, Class of 1953, civic-minded architect
Sharon Sheeley, Class of 1957, groundbreaking songwriter
Suzanne Shriner, Class of 1985, multitalented global citizen
Hal Smith, Class of 1944, altruistic inventor
The two honored Faculty are:
Jules Gage, innovative athletic director at NHHS 1949-58, 1967-83
Mary Lyons, creative English teacher at NHHS 1965-82
It was a wonderful evening, and you can see photos from the event here:
Our Hall of Fame tradition began in June of 2014, when the Newport Harbor High School Alumni Association inducted our first class of Alumni and Faculty. We have recognized champion athletes, brave military personnel, cutting-edge scientists, public servants, artists, writers and actors, as well as beloved teachers, coaches, and administrators—all individuals who reflect our alma mater’s most cherished values of good citizenship and service to others.
Each Hall of Fame ceremony has been unique, including a special moment our first year when Dr. Don Miyada, Class of 1942, returned to finally walk at graduation 72 years late. You won’t want to miss out, so make sure to sign up for our newsletter to be the first to hear about our next event!
FEATURED Hall of Fame Moment
Dr. Don Miyada (Class of 1942) began at Newport Harbor High School in 1938, unaware that in the next few years, world events would keep him from his graduation day. In the spring of 1942, Don Miyada and his family were sent to the Poston War Relocation Center, a Japanese Internment camp in Arizona. He treasured the NHHS diploma he received at Poston by mail, because many of his peers from other schools were not given their diplomas; however, he missed the opportunity to celebrate this accomplishment. When the Seniors of the Class of 2014 learned of Dr. Miyada’s story, they were so moved they decided to invite him to be a part of their own ceremony, and so right a decades-old wrong.